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April 2014
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It has become pretty standard to hear about patent licensing deals between Microsoft(s msft) and Android(s goog) device makers. Motorola Solutions is the latest to sign one but it's not just about Android; the deal also covers Chrome OS devices. Interestingly, Motorola doesn't make any Chrome OS devices so this could lay the groundwork for the company to change that. Taking things one step further: Motorola tried to create a new market for phones that power laptops. Remember the unsuccessful LapDock that used an Android phone to run Linux on a shell computer? Instead of just having a Linux partition and custom user environment on such a phone, perhaps Motorola adopts Chrome OS for a second take on its LapDock concept.

We discuss that in detail and hit more of the latest Chrome OS news on this week's podcast, so tune in and join us!

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SHOW NOTES:

Today's Chrome Show episode is sponsored by New Relic.

Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

First look(s) at the Samsung Chromebook 2

You can now Chromecast Google Play Music to an Apple(s aapl) TV via a doubleTwist hack

"Five Years after Their Inception, the Browser-Based Laptops Inch Toward Replacing PCs and Macs" says the WSJ

Chrome OS Dev channel gets new graphs to see CPU frequency state changes

Google Play Music app gets a small but useful tweak: option to be "Always on top"

It's a hit: Chromecast gets MLB.tv

Chrome Remote Desktop for Android goes public

Is Motorola planning to make Chromebooks? It signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft for Android and Chrome OS devices.

App / Extension of the week: WikiTube

Direct download: Chrome-show-04232014.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 2:47 PM

Bug Labs, a consulting and design firm behind a of a variety of connected devices and services, is sick of the fragmented nature of the internet of things. So it has created a technology toolset to help tie different devices together and make playing with connected hardware a little easier. The first tool, Dweet was launched in February and lets you insert a bit of code onto a device to start tracking it.

The second tool, launched Tuesday, is called Freeboard, and it takes the data streams of Dweet and lets you assemble them in a visual way on a dashboard. According to Peter Semmelhack (pictured on the far left, above), the CEO and co-founder of Bug Labs, the idea is to help push the internet of things to its "Dropbox moment," when it becomes so easy for people to use a new technology it becomes mainstream.

"Dropbox didn't invest online storage, it just made it easy for people to do it," Semmelhack says in a podcast I recorded with him. That's the goal with the Bug Labs approach here.

Direct download: IOT_042114_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:33 PM

Between Amazon threatening to use drones to deliver packages, to etiquette questions about what to do when you find a fallen drone, the tech set and popular culture has become obsessed with the flying machines. So I asked my colleague Signe Brewster to come on the show to offer us a little intro to drones course. After all, many of them are connected. She shares a lot of information about what's on the market today, what they are doing and how hard it is to learn how to fly them indoors. She also asks for help in connecting her venetian blinds.

The second half of the show I talk to Jason Johnson, the CEO of August, a maker of a smart lock launched last June. The $199 lock was expected in December and then in late Spring, but now it's been pushed out indefinitely. Johnson explains why it's taken so long to ship. The short answer is that it's hard to build a smart lock, but the long answer is worth hearing. You might learn something about building consumer products. Johnson ends with his thoughts on how the smart home will come together and avoids telling me product August will improve next.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Signe Brewster and Jason Johnson, CEO of August.

    • It's drones 101 time as we discuss what is on the market, what they can do
    • I try to think of ways to make a drone work for the connected home. Maybe it could walk my dog?
    • What makes a lock smart. Or a robot?
    • Why hasn't my darn smart lock shipped yet?

Where is August going next with connected consumer devices?

Direct download: IOT_041714_01-audio.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:00 AM

OpenStack promises a lot: Robust clouds that can support both specialized private and massive public workloads but without fear of vendor lockin. And that is a lot to promise. On this week's show, we've got not one but two heavy-hitting proponents, Jonathan Bryce and COO Mark Collier, telling us why, exactly, big companies should check out the new Icehouse release of the open-source cloud framework (available Thursday!)

OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier (L) and Executive Director Jonathan Bryce (R)
OpenStack Foundation COO Mark Collier (L) and Executive Director Jonathan Bryce (R)

To satisfy one key demand, Icehouse will enable rolling upgrades from the previous without shutting down workloads. Such upgrades in the past, frankly, were a pain, indeed, some called them backbreaking , so if this works as planned, it's a big deal.Also new, support for federated identity, a feature requested by CERN, the European nuclear laboratory /OpenStack poster child.

More than a dozen companies from traditional IT purveyors like HP(s hpq) and Cisco(s csco) to startups like Cloudscaling and Mirantis, are backing OpenStack as the infrastructure to give customers choice in cloud deployment. If Acme Paint & Glass signs on to OpenStack A and isn't satisfied it can, in theory,  move to OpenStack B without too much hassle. But the vendors all say they're innovating atop OpenStack and differentiation often means incompatibilities. But Collier said the Foundation will be enforcing good OpenStack citizenship going forward. Go too far afield in your OpenStack playbook and BOOM! you lose your OpenStack label. (My words, not his.)

At Structure  in June  there will be much more on what's moving and shaking in the cloud ecosystem, so stay tuned.

But first Derrick Harris weighs in on Microsoft's pitch to make Azure the big data platform for the masses and we discuss how cloud vendors including Amazon Web Services(s amzn) will address end-of-life processes for creaky old infrastructure. Also, why Twitter(s twtr) bought Gnip. Or is it Nip? Whatever, it's a good one so listen up!

Direct download: 041714_01-audio.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 6:38 AM

After finding out how widespread the HeartBleed security issue is, it only made sense to find a Chrome extension to help the situation. There are a number of good ones but we chose ChromeBleed because it also works in Google(s goog) searches, showing which sites may still have server vulnerabilities before you even visit them. Meanwhile, the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11e Chromebook is looking good in tablet mode while Microsoft(s msft) ended its Scroogled campaign just in time to add Office Online app shortcuts to the Chrome Web Store.

Join us for this week's podcast as we discuss those topics as well as some great new features in Chrome Beta for Android and new Chromecast apps here now and coming soon.

Today's Chrome Show episode is sponsored by New Relic.

Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

Direct download: Chrome_041614_01-audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00 AM

Which clouds are doing well in the enterprise? RightScale has a unique perspective and VP of Marketing Kim Weins gives us a glimpse into what's going on here. Amazon(s amzn) Web Services keeps rolling along which is no surprise. More eye opening was that RightScale's 2014 State of the Cloud survey showed VMware's vCloud Hybrid Services (vCHS) came in second, surprising since it's been out less than a year. My bet, confirmed by Weins, is that some of the many, many VMware(s vmw) shops out there confused vCHS with vSphere and vCloud Director, etc. "We call this vSoup," she said.

rightscale 3All joking aside, VMware has near 100 percent penetration in enterprise accounts so anyone doubting that VMware has a shot in cloud should think again. Ditto Microsoft Azure. Of course it depends on how many of those customers want to deepen their dependence on those vendors going forward.

And Derrick Harris talks about the use of big data in agriculture -- an important trend given the necessity of wringing the most food out of stressed resources. And we discuss Amazon's latest management improvement -- its new Cost Explorer and it's possible impact on the Amazon ecosystem.

SHOW NOTES

Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris

Direct download: Struct_041014_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:00 AM

We knew Asus was going to supplement its Chromebox with a pair of Chromebooks(s goog) but only one so far has leaked. The C200 is an 11.6-inch Intel-powered(s intc) Chromebook that comes with pre-loaded software just like the Samsung Chromebook 2. Samsung is now taking pre-orders for that device. And there's hidden code in the Chromecast showing that Google could be adding weather and more to the low-cost wireless dongle; perhaps a personal dashboard is in the works for the big screen?

Join us for this week's podcast as we discuss those topics as well as the new beta of Chrome Remote Desktop for Android and a slick little extension to sync clipboard data between Chrome on different devices.

Direct download: Chrome_040914_01.mp3
Category:media -- posted at: 7:00 AM

I can control the blinds in my Austin home from San Francisco, but the founders of Prodea have testing their operating system for the internet of things from the International Space Station. The Ansaris, two brothers and the wife of one of the brothers, have launched Prodea, their eight-year-old company with seven customers and a total of $100 million in funding.

Amir Ansari, who is the CTO of Prodea, chatted about the vision and the goals of the business on today's podcast. The idea is to let service providers -- be they ISPs or large consumer brands -- deliver a set of services via connected devices without requiring a lot of thought or action from the end user. But first Kevin and I play with the Ubi (this was the first round of play) voice recognition system and discuss the week's news in the internet of things. Enjoy the show.

Host: Stacey Higginbotham
Guests: Kevin Tofel and Amir Anasari, CTO of Prodea.

    • Kevin and I play with my latest gadget: the Ubi voice recognition computer
    • Quick thoughts on Microsoft's IoT letdown and Nest's Protect problem
    • Prodea has $100 million and eight years of building an OS for the internet of things
    • Don't worry about the protocols, worry about your services.

Prodea's software hasn't just connected a home, it has connected a home to someone at the International Space Station.

Direct download: IOT_040714_01-AudioMp3.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 12:00 PM

Cloudera's monster round of investment this week got a ton of ink but also sparked a bit of confusion about just how much of that $900 million bag o' cash from Intel(s intc), Google(s goog), Dell and institutional investors -- will end up in Cloudera itself -- to fund expansion and development -- and how much might end up in the pockets of previous investors.

This week's Structure Show guest Cloudera CEO Tom Reilly provided more detail, acknowledging that  some of that money is secondary financing (and thus may go to investors) -- but 60 percent -- more than a half a billion dollars -- will flow to Cloudera to fund global expansion and further product development.

Also on tap this week, Derrick Harris and I discuss Amazon(s amzn), has the biggest cloud, but it's nowhere near the cleanest, according to  Greenpeace. The organization gave props to Google, Facebook(s fb) and Apple(s aapl) for using renewable energy but tossed brickbats at Amazon and Twitter(s twtr) for falling down there.

And Google continued its tear, which started with cloud price cuts last week,  with news that it's implemented software defined networking in two of its Google Compute Engine regions. You have to wonder what's in store for Google I/O.

So get yourself a cuppa joe and give a listen.

 

Direct download: 040314_01-audio.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 7:23 AM

People are pretty happy with the Acer C720 Chromebooks; for the money, they offer a great value and there are several models. The C720 is no longer the best Chromebook according to The Wirecutter, which is a great resource to find great products. The Dell Chromebook 11 wins out on battery life, display, keyboard and other factors. That's OK, Acer could surprise us all and launch a Chrome OS tablet later this month.

We discuss those topics as well as explain how to register for Google I/O and share the latest apps for your Chromecast on this week's podcast.

Hosts: Janko Roettgers and Kevin C. Tofel

Direct download: Chrome040214_01-audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:11 AM